You have decided you want to learn to play this magnificent instrument. You are ready to make the step and buy your first guitar. Where to start? There are so many choices out there and you have no idea what to look out for.
To begin with, you want to know if you’re going for an acoustic or an electric guitar. Chances are, you already have an idea what sort of instrument you see yourself playing so this step will likely be an easy one.
In this article, you’ll find tips for buying an acoustic guitar, because 1) it is a good one to start with 2) Guitarwaze currently offers levels 1-4 for online acoustic guitar tuition, with online lessons for learning the electric guitar following soon. From a professional point of view, it is advisable to start with the classical guitar for a better training of the hands, before you move to the electric guitar.
You should determine what sort of budget you have for investing in your instrument. Knowing this, will rule out anything that goes above and save you a lot of time and difficulties in contemplating choices that are not financially realistic. In addition, you may want to consider not spending more than a few hundred £££ on your first guitar, just in case you get bored or discover it is not the instrument for you. You can always sell your first purchase and upgrade to a higher standard when you fall in love with it (which of course you will, because guitars are awesome!)
2. Determine the shape and style of your guitar
Acoustic guitars come in different sizes. There are several body sizes, which produce different sounds and can come with or without a cutaway. A dreadnought shaped guitar has a full bodied and loud sound but may be a bit big for smaller musicians and for some they are harder to play when sitting down due to their shape and large body. Parlour style guitars have thinner bodies and can be easier for a seated practice. Knowing these differences beforehand can be great when heading out to the shops.
3. Nylon or steel strings
Acoustic guitars are either fitted with nylon or steel strings, depending on the type of guitar and what type of style is played. Classical or flamenco guitars are typically strung with nylon and nylon wound with wire strings. Acoustic guitars that use steel strings have extra features to support the tension of these strings and are often a favourite for rock, jazz, blues, folk and other styles. Nylon strings are easier on your fingers than steel strings and are therefore also often chosen by beginners. Understanding these basics, gives you a nice foundation to be able to ask the right questions.
4. Do your research
Tips 1-3 give you pointers on what to look at. Now go online, do a google search and read up on the details.
5. See it in person
It is a good idea to get a feel for the instrument before buying it. You will want to be comfortable with it and trying it out is key. Go to 1-2 places, try out a few different things, come back the next day and do it again. By then you’ll have a fine grasp on what you want.
When you have found your instrument, take care of it! That means buying a proper case to keep it safe but more importantly, give it some love and start playing!